TIFFIN, Ohio—The ninth-ranked and top-seeded Heidelberg University volleyball team swept Muskingum University (25-13, 25-16, 25-17) tonight in a quarterfinal match of the 2011 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament at Seiberling Gymnasium in Tiffin, Ohio. The win advances the Berg to the semifinal round for the fifth straight season.
With the victory, Heidelberg (30-5, 9-0 OAC) recorded its second 30-win season in the last three years and 22nd consecutive victory over an OAC opponent, and will host both the OAC Tournament semifinals and finals on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5. Muskingum’s (12-16, 2-7 OAC) loss is the third straight to the Berg in the quarterfinals.
Heidelberg will face the winner between No. 5 seed Ohio Northern University and No. 4 seed Baldwin-Wallace College in the semifinal round.
Senior two-time All-OAC outside hitter Venessa Haase (Miamisburg) led the Berg with her ninth double-double of the season, notching 10 kills and 12 digs. Junior second-team All-OAC outside hitter Marian Bevington (Celina/Parkway) helped Haase on the attack with a match-high 12 kills. Bevington also had two blocks.
Junior setter Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) (23) and sophomore setter Alexa Frank (Tiffin/Calvert) (14) set the offense with a combined 37 of the team’s 43 assists.
Freshman libero Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) notched 28 digs, nearly half of the team’s total (59).
Heidelberg tallied nine service aces, including three from senior reigning OAC player of the year Jackie Reinhart (New Riegel), who also had nine kills and 10 digs.
As a team, the Berg hit .310, totaling 46 kills against 10 errors in 116 attacks, while holding the Fighting Muskies to a .074 hitting percentage.
Muskingum was led by McKensie Smith, who recorded a double-double of her own, with six kills, 12 assists, 13 digs and a match-high three blocks.
The Berg will host either ONU or B-W on Friday at 7 p.m. in the second semifinal match of the 2011 OAC Tournament. No. 2 seed Otterbein University will face No. 3 seed University of Mount Union at 5 p.m. in the first semifinal match of the evening. The Cardinals and Purple Raiders swept No. 7 seed Marietta College and No. 6 seed Capital University, respectively, earlier this evening.